The attributes on an object may be owned independently from the object. Normally, the owner of the object owns all of its attributes. In addition to an owner, each attribute also has a locked flag, set or cleared with @lock <obj>/<attr> and @unlock <obj>/<attr>. This flag controls whether or not the owner of the object may @chown the attribute to himself with @chown <object>/<attrib>, as well as whether or not the attribute is automatically @chowned to the new owner when the object is @chowned.
You may lock and unlock attributes that you own on any object (whether you own the object or not), and you may @chown an attribute that you own to the owner of the object if it is unlocked. The examine command will show you all attributes that you own on an object, even if you don't own the object.
Locked attributes may not be modified or removed, and do not change ownership when the object containing them is @chowned.
You may not modify or remove attributes that you own that are stored on objects that you do not own, but you may modify or remove attributes owned by others on your objects (if you do this, the attribute becomes owned by you).
If an attribute is owned by someone other than the object's owner, then the number of the attribute's owner is shown in parentheses immediately after the attribute name. If there are any flags set on the attribute, those flags are indicated in the parentheses too.
When checking an attribute lock against an object, the lock will always fail if the locked object is not owned by the same player as the attribute being tested. The comparison specified in the lock is only performed if the owner of the locked object also owns the attribute on the object being checked.